Kodansha Comics Announces Digital Manga Debuts for August 2021

Kodansha Comics has announced the new manga titles that will debut digitally in August 2021. The following titles will debut on Tuesdays in August 2021:

Title: I Was Reincarnated as the 7th Prince so I Can Take My Time Perfecting My Magical Ability
Creators: Yosuke Kokuzawa, Kenkyo na Circle, and Meru
Debut Date: August 3, 2021
Synopsis: Prince Lloyd wasn’t always a prince… in fact, his previous life is one he remembers perfectly: he was a sorcerer, of sorts. So when he was forced to reincarnate, he decided to continue his studies, prince of the realm or no. But his new life has its own sets of challenges… including being a 10-year-old. What’s the 7th prince/sorcerer to do?

Title: Yamaguchi-kun Isn’t So Bad
Creator: Yuu Saiki
Debut Date: August 10, 2021
Synopsis: Shy Satsuki Shinohara’s plan for a big high school debut are almost ruined by a pervert on the train, but she’s saved by none other than the “gangster” student in her class, Yamaguchi-kun. He’s already got a bad rap with the other students, and though Satsuki tries to approach him, he seems to always weasel out of her grasp. But she’s not one to let a challenge daunt her, and she’s out to prove that Yamaguchi-kun is so much more than he’s cracked up to be.

Title: The Decagon House Murders
Creators: Yukito Ayatsuji and Hiro Kiyohara
Debut Date: August 17, 2021
Synopsis: The manga based off the best-selling The Decagon House Murders novel by Yukito Ayatsuji. The members of a particular university’s Mystery Club travel to a ten-sided house on a remote island… which just happens to have been the scene of a gristly, and unsolved, mass murder. Armed with details of the murder and keys to the property, they set out to dig deeper… but can they trust the “facts” of the case? And moreover… can they trust each other?

Title: Chihiro-Kun Only Has Eyes For Me
Creator: Sato Ito
Debut Date: August 24, 2021
Synopsis: It’s not every day that a guy tells you you’re his muse and to strip down while you’re just minding your own business. But that’s just what happened to Michi—she caught the eye of Chihiro-kun, a fellow student and aspiring fashion designer. He’s inspired by her, and wants to use her as his model… but can Michi stand the attentions of such a devoted artiste?

Title: Mr. Bride
Creator: Natsumi Shiba
Debut Date: August 31, 2021
Synopsis: Hayami is the it-woman at her job—she’s cool, confident, and admired by all. But her has-it-all exterior belies a dark secret… her house is a mess, and she’s no good at taking care of herself. Enter Yamamoto-kun—her colleague who thinks the world of her, and who refuses to let her slobbish behavior slide. Soon he’s over at her house often enough that she asks him to move in with her. Where will this roundabout relationship take them?

Source: The Fandom Post

Anime Expo Lite 2021 Draws Over 375,000 Views and Raises $77,000 for Charity

The nation’s largest anime fan convention marked its 30th anniversary earlier this month with Anime Expo Lite. Held online again due to the continuing effects of the COVID pandemic, this year’s Anime Expo Lite garnered over 375,000 views from fans in more than 100 countries such as the United Kingdom, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Malaysia.

Fans tuned into watch the livestream event on July 3 and 4, 2021 as well as during the VOD period from July 5-16, 2021. Program highlights included the Star Wars: Visions Sneak Peek, the Shikizakura world premiere, and the LisAni!LIVE L.A. concert featuring performances by ASCA, BURNOUT SYNDROMES, JO☆STARS, Liella! ( Love Live! Superstar!!), and Morfonica (BanG Dream!), as well as special guests such as Hololive English, NIJISANJI’s Lazulight, and many more.

Proceeds from the 2021 Anime Expo Lite online event benefited the Hate Is A Virus commUNITY Action Fund. The SPJA donated $77,000 to support local and national community organizations related to AAPI representation, mental health, and more.

“For the 2nd year in a row, Anime Expo was held online due to the COVID pandemic, but we were gratified and amazed at the continued strong support we received from so many fans from around the world,” says Ray Chiang, CEO of the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation. “We presented a comprehensive array of panel events, exclusive premieres, and sneak peeks, and music performances and made a sizeable donation to Hate Is A Virus, which will help them continue their work to battle anti-Asian discrimination and defamation, which continues to AAPI communities across the nation. As we look ahead to next year, we are excited to announce the return of Anime Expo to the Los Angeles Convention Center on July 1-4, 2022, and to welcoming back all of our fans, exhibitors, and participants.”

Manga Review: The King’s Beast Volume Three

The King’s Beast Volume Three examines Rangetsu’s feelings for Prince Tenyou.

The King’s Beast Volume Three
Written by: Rei Toma
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 3, 2021

Volume Three opens with Prince Oushin inviting Prince Tenyou and Rangetsu to dinner. However, things get uncomfortable for Rangetsu when she sees that the dinner is taking place at a brothel. In this world, female Ajin work in the brothels, so this puts Rangetsu in an awkward position. It gets worse when she sees Prince Tenyou leave with one of the women who works there.

It’s at this point that we see Rangetsu’s confusion over her feelings toward Prince Tenyou. She doesn’t understand why she feels jealous over Prince Tenyou being with another woman, especially since Rangetsu has spent all this time trying to act like a man. Rangetsu’s confusion is a theme that runs throughout this volume.

During the time at the brothel, Rangetsu gets drunk and gets in a fight with Teiga. With some of the things that Rangetsu says during the fight, she comes close to exposing the truth about herself. But Rangetsu finds that she’s taken down easily by Teiga’s special ability, and this becomes a sore spot for her as well. She doesn’t have a special ability, which frustrates her, and being taken down easily by another Ajin’s special ability just pours more salt into the emotional wounds she’s already going through over her confusion about Prince Tenyou.

A plot thread that starts to run through The King’s Beast Volume Three is that His Imperial Majesty has yet to declare a crown prince among his 15 sons, and the princes are now entering a critical period where they will be assessed on how they complete specific assignments… and their Ajin are an important component for the assignments. The first one is a tea ceremony, where the Ajin have to make tea and their ability will reflect back on their respective prince. Rangetsu works hard to learn the skill, and then at the actual ceremony, she discovers someone has substituted poison in her ingredients. Through some quick thinking, Rangetsu finds a way to avoid poisoning the emperor… but the lack of tea being served by her is a mark against Prince Tenyou.

However, we learn than Prince Tenyou has no desire to become the emperor. Like Rangetsu, this surprised me, since Prince Tenyou has been adamant about wanting to change how things work in their world. But it makes sense when he says he doesn’t have to be emperor in order to change the world, and in fact, it would probably be harder for him to make the necessary changes if he was the emperor.

One of my favorite scenes in Volume Three is when Prince Tenyou takes Rangetsu to her brother’s grave. It’s a sweet gesture, but it also instigates a conversation that allows Rangetsu to talk to Prince Tenyou and unload some of the confusion that’s been bottled up inside. I thought that Toma executed this scene beautifully, both through the art and through the dialogue and actions that take place.

Right at the end of the volume, the stage is being set for the next task, which is a sports competition. Rangetsu and Prince Tenyou’s practice time is getting underway when the third prince’s Ajin appears and tries to bean Prince Tenyou with a ball. And that’s basically where this volume ends. My guess is that Volume Four will have a focus on this sports tournament and whatever acts of sabotage may or may not occur.

It’s becoming clearer that Rangetsu has some kind of romantic feelings for Prince Tenyou, even if she herself doesn’t pick up on it yet. While the romance angle is getting stronger hints, this manga is still focusing overall on Rangetsu and how she’s trying to protect Prince Tenyou and work with him on finding her brother’s killer. And with the introduction of the tasks, the stage seems to be set for more direct competition between Prince Tenyou and his brothers, as well as the potential for intrigue. I think the attempted poisoning is just the beginning, and that more attempts to sabotage Prince Tenyou will come about in future volumes. I’m also curious to see what other kinds of tasks the princes and their Ajin will be asked to do.

Readers who have enjoyed the previous two volumes of The King’s Beast will appreciate this volume as well. I know that I’m looking forward to Volume Four in order to find out how this story will continue.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Additional posts about The King’s Beast:

Tubi TV Is Streaming the Phoenix Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that Tubi TV has added the Phoenix anime to its service. The series is available with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

The series was directed by Ryousuke Takahashi with character designs by Akio Sugino, Hiroshi Uchida, Kyuma Oshita, and Masayoshi Nishida. With Tezuka Productions handling the animation, the main cast featured Keiko Takeshita as Hi no Tori.

Phoenix is described as:

Throughout time, mankind has chased after the dream of immortality. The Phoenix, in the form of a bird of fire, is said to hold the key to eternal life. Great wars are fought in a vain attempt to possess it and, as a result, civilizations rise and fall. Phoenix is a collection of five stories from the past, present and future. Many will perish because of their desires, and they are the lucky ones. True pain comes for those who find immortality and experience the burden of living forever.

Source: The Fandom Post

Tubi TV Adds the Voltes V Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that Tubi TV has added the Voltes V anime to its service. The series is available with its original Japanese audio and English subtitles.

The story of Voltes V is described as:

From out of nowhere, a mysterious alien race known as the Boazan Forces has invaded the Earth. A group of individuals specially trained to handle this kind of situation has been unleashed. Kenichi, Ippei, Daijirou, Hiyoshi and Megumi are the pilots of the Choudenji Machine Voltes V (5), Earth’s defense against the Boazan and their terrible Beast Warriors. The plot thickens as the Go Brothers discover their true heritage and the truth behind their father’s disappearance. Conflicts and mixed emotions hinder the Go Brothers at times but due to their unwavering desire to find their dad, they must go to the place where it all started. With the help of the rebels based on Earth and on the aliens’ homeworld, the Voltes Team has another mission, remove the tyrant Zu Zanbajil and liberate the people of Boazan.

Source: The Fandom Post

Section23 Announces October 2021 Slate

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its October 2021 slate of anime releases.

Product details follow, in order of release

Coming October 2021

Title: NAKAIMO ~ MY LITTLE SISTER IS AMONG THEM!
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 10/5/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: The terms of Shougo Mikadono’s late father’s will are strangely specific: To claim his substantial inheritance, Shougo must first transfer to Miryuin Private Academy, find a nice girl from among the student body, and convince her to marry him. As twisted and unromantic as that demand may appear, it does seem doable, right? Unfortunately, there’s an even greater moral obstruction standing between Shougo and a rich happily ever after, as one of the students attending the school is Shougo’s long lost little sister… and he has no idea which one she is. Can Shougo navigate this minefield and find a future bride without committing a major sin? And if his little sister is revealed, will it be in a manner that’s socially acceptable? Insanity is hereditary and Shougo’s about to go sibling crazy in NAKAIMO – My Little Sister is Among Them.

Title: PETER GRILL AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S TIME
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 180 min.
Street Date: 10/12/2021
Format: BD, Steelbook
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $129.98

SYNOPSIS: Peter Grill may be the most powerful warrior in the world, but in a culture where strength is everything, there are lots of ambitious young women who will do anything to “acquire” Peter’s superior genes in order to bear powerful offspring. So, even though Peter just wants to marry his fiancée, he’s instead being beset by a bodacious bevy of Peter-obsessed females fiercely determined to get into his bed and/or ironclad pants. That would be a sticky situation even if the bawdy belligerents were merely human, but with elves, trolls and orcs all craving a little private Peter action, can even Peter stand up to this wave of pulchritudinous force? His flesh may be strong but his will may not hold up quite as rigidly when comely babe after babe keeps coming to test this poor Peter’s mettle in Peter Grill.

Title: NOZO X KIMI
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 75 min.
Street Date: 10/19/2021
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $29.98

SYNOPSIS: What could be more embarrassing than being caught peeping into the girls’ locker room? Being caught inside the girls’ locker room inside a locker. And yet, that’s where Kimio Suga finds himself. And even if it was by accident, as soon as that door opens and he’s discovered, he’ll be branded a pervert and maybe even suspended. Except… the girl who finds him is Nozomi Komine, who lives in the house across from his, and she covers for him. Unfortunately, that isn’t an act of kindness, it’s the prelude to blackmail. Because Nozomi has certain games that she’d like to play and Kimio’s location and guilt make him the perfect plaything. And if that’s not bad enough, the situation gets really out of control when she starts bringing other girls in to play with her toy in Nozo X Kimi.

Title: SAY I LOVE YOU
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 10/19/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: When Mei Tachibana was unfairly blamed for a tragedy, not one of her so-called friends stood by her. In the heartbreaking aftermath, Mei found an easy way to avoid any future betrayal – to never make any friends again. Only now, for some inexplicable reason, one her school’s most popular guys, the annoyingly charming Yamato Kurosawa, has taken an interest in the girl who might as well be a ghost to the rest of the class. And when she needed help, he actually came. Mei’s not a princess in a tower and she wasn’t looking for a white knight. So why has everything become so complicated since he kissed her? Is she ready to trust and risk her heart again? Is it time, at last, to make the commitment with the three words that change everything in Say “I Love You”?

Title: SHE, THE ULTIMATE WEAPON
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 325 min.
Street Date: 10/26/2021
Format: BD
Language: English, Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $59.98

SYNOPSIS: Separated in the chaos when their city was bombed, students Shuji and Chise lives are shattered despite the actions of a mysterious defender. After reuniting with Chise in the ruins, Shuji is horrified to discover that she is no longer the girl he knew. Twisted and reshaped by nightmarish science, her body has been transformed into something that isn’t completely human: a living weapon. And even worse, the remaining facets of the person she once was seem to be fading away. Can Shuji continue to feel love for the shell of the person Chise once was? And how long can Chise’s soul endure inside a device whose only purpose is to kill? As the fires of war burn, a young woman teeters on the brink of becoming the engine of the final apocalypse in She, The Ultimate Weapon.

Title: VENUS WARS
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 105 min.
Street Date: 10/26/2021
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $29.98

SYNOPSIS: When an ice comet slammed into the planet Venus, terraforming its toxic atmosphere into one capable of sustaining human life, mankind’s dream of colonizing other worlds became a reality. Unfortunately for the colonists, Venus isn’t the paradise they’d dreamed of. As crops fail and competition for resources intensifies, hostilities grow until the two inhabited continents stand on the brink of war. Reporter Susan Sommers arrives in the capital of Aphrodia just as Ishtar attacks and only the intervention of Hiro Seno and his Battle Bike team saves her from certain death… but now Aphrodia is under Ishtar’s control and Sue, Hiro, and his teammates find themselves on the run. However, their unique skill at Battle Bike, which combines motorcycle racing with roller derby, may just prove to be the secret weapon Aphrodia needs to win the Venus Wars.

Source: Sentai Filmworks

Manga Review: Chainsaw Man Volume Six

Chainsaw Man Volume Six focuses on Denji’s new love interest, Reze.

Chainsaw Man Volume Six
Written by: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 3, 2021

The beginning of the volume sees Reze asking Denji to leave Public Safety and run away with her. Even though he was feeling conflicted between Makima and Reze in the previous volume, we saw Denji caving enough to Reze that I was almost afraid he would decide to go with her. But, Denji actually surprised me… he turned her down, and even shares how he’s actually starting to enjoy being part of Public Safety. But when Reze flat out states that Denji is in love with someone else, he drops his guard… and she kisses him. But we see it isn’t an ordinary kiss, because when the two part, we see that Reze has bitten off part of Denji’s tongue. Not only that, we see her cut off one of Denji’s hands.

In the previous volume, I thought something felt off about Reze, and it turns out I was right to suspect that she wasn’t what she appeared to be. When she’s about to take his heart, Beam (the Shark Fiend) swoops in to try to get Denji to safety. Beam also reveals that Reze has devil powers that allow her to explode to kill her prey but not kill her.

Oh boy. Denji’s weakness for women has brought about danger not only to himself, but to his comrades as well. Reze transforms into a devil, and she chases Denji and Beam, trying to attack them as she does.

Meanwhile, Aki and Angel Devil are visiting Aki’s old friend, who is part of Division 2. Unfortunately, Beam brings Denji to this location to get him some help, and Reze is hot on their trail. In her effort to capture Denji, Reze kills others and creates chaos. Unfortunately for Aki, his friend that he came to visit was one of Reze’s victims. This is important later when it appears Angel Devil will be blown away and killed. Even though Aki will have some of his life span siphoned off if he touches her, he grabs her hand in order to save her. When she asks why Aki took this risk, he says that he doesn’t want to see another one of his comrades killed right in front of him. You have to feel for Aki, though, because he’s right. Over the course of these six volumes, Aki has now seen two of his comrades die in front of him. This can’t be a good thing for his psyche, and his desire to not want to see any other comrades killed in front of him makes a lot of sense.

Volume Six is one of the more violent volumes for the Chainsaw Man manga. With Reze’s detonation ability, as well as her attacks on Denji (biting off part of his tongue, for example), there’s more blood and violence than we’ve seen in the previous volumes. This volume is also more action-oriented and has a lot more action panels and less dialogue overall, so it makes this volume a relatively quick read.

Even with the increase in violence, Chainsaw Man Volume Six is a logical way to continue the overarching story of the series. Hopefully Denji will learn at least one lesson after what happens in this volume, and that he can experience some more growth and development as a character. Since this volume ends with the completion of this arc, I really have no idea what to expect in Volume Seven. So I’m going to be curious to see what the next volume has to offer the reader and how it will continue Denji’s story.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Additional posts about Chainsaw Man:

Partnership with Embassy of Japan Brings Olympic Torch, Special Content to Otakon

Thanks to a partnership with the Embassy of Japan, Otakon 2021 members will get a chance to take a picture with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch, as well as participate in Japanese cultural events throughout the day on Saturday, August 7, 2021, including a kabuki lecture and demonstration, and a screening of the anime film Ride Your Wave.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch can be viewed, and photos taken, at the Embassy of Japan booth in the Dealers Room. The Otakon Dealers Room is open from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, August, 6, 2021; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 7, 2021; and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 8, 2021.

Also on Saturday, the Embassy’s Japan Information & Culture Center will be offering a special screening of the anime film Ride Your Wave (2020) starting at 2 p.m. From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa, the deeply emotional film applies his trademark visual ingenuity to a tale of romance, grief and self-discovery. Surf-loving college student Hinako must find joy and purpose in life again, after a terrible tragedy results in the death of her firefighter boyfriend Minato.

At 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Professor Kirk Kanesaka will present a kabuki lecture and demonstration. Kabuki theater has remained for centuries one of Japan’s most dramatic and colorful storytelling forms, and at points in Japanese history, its fandom rivaled that of manga and anime for passion. Professor Kanesaka will introduce authentic Japanese kabuki from its earliest origins in Japanese mythology and its establishment as a popular theatrical form in Japan’s Edo period. He will explain the different roles, from tachiyaku to onnagata, as well as the stage and stagecraft involved. He will show how its daring costumes influenced Tokyo fashions over the years, how its heightened drama influenced modern popular culture, and how it has maintained its vitality up to the present day. In addition to his talk, Professor Kanesaka will perform scenes from Fujimusume Kudoki (The Love Lament of the Wisteria Maiden) and Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees) in su, i.e. sans makeup and costume, and he may even teach the audience how to do the same. The demonstration will conclude with a Q&A session.

In addition, officials from the Embassy of Japan will participate in Opening Ceremonies and will present the Masquerade Award at the cosplay competition.

AsianCrush Is Streaming the Jubei-Chan 2: The Counterattack of Siberia Yagyu Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that AsianCrush is now streaming the Jubei-Chan 2: The Counterattack of Siberia Yagyu anime on its service. The series is available with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

The series originally aired in 2004 and was directed by Akitaro Daichi and Shinpei Miyashita based on the series composition by Daichi. Madhouse handled the animation production.

The story of Jubei-Chan 2: The Counterattack of Siberia Yagyu is described as:

Three hundred years ago, in the frigid land of Siberia, Jubei Yagyu engaged in a fierce battle with Kitaretsusai of the Northern Yagyu clan. The conflict was costly as his daughter Freesia was frozen in suspended animation. As a result of present day global warming, Freesia breaks free from her icy prison and moves to Japan as a middle school transfer student, where she befriends Jiyuu Nanohana. Little does Jiyuu know that Freesia is targeting her to acquire the coveted Lovely Eye Patch, which Freesia believes is rightfully hers.

Source: The Fandom Post

AsianCrush Is Streaming the Kite and Kite Liberator Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that AsianCrush is now streaming both the Kite and Kite Liberator anime with their original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

The story of Kite is described as:

She may be cute. She may be young. She may seem innocent and naive, but don’t be fooled. She’s a cold-blooded killer, and if you’re on the wrong side of the law, you may be her next target.

After being orphaned at a young age, her parents victims of a brutal double murder, Sawa was taken in by the detective assigned to her case. Not content to just watch as the imperfect justice system let more and more criminals go loose every day, he’s decided to train her to be his instrument of justice. After all, who’d suspect a pretty college student of being a deadly vigilante?

Source: The Fandom Post